In an article published on 21 June 2010, the executive director of Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), Rana Sabbagh, describes three young Syrian journalists gathering in a café in Damascus, ‘drinking Arabic coffee and talking animatedly’, not in relation to the usual ‘discussions about regional politics, ministerial portfolios and media restrictions’, but about issues that ‘are affecting the lives of the Syrian public — an increase in child sexual abuse, public health risks from environmental waste and medical incinerators failing to meet international standards’. She notes that ‘[n]ot only are these journalists talking, they are investigating and, more importantly, publishing’ (Sabbagh, 21 June 2010). This picture painted by Sabbagh can be aptly described as ‘beautiful’! It gives not only a sense of optimism but also an impression that change is underway towards addressing issues that are directly impacting the people. These newly trained investigative journalists gathering in a café in Damascus have discovered the power they hold for achieving change.
KeywordsChild Sexual Abuse Arab Country Arab World Investigative Reporting Arab Region
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